Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending March 3, 2013. Songs: Is The Right Song #1?

Chart Watch

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“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz this week becomes the first song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales eight times. The old record was held by “We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae, which topped 300K in weekly sales seven times.

In addition, “Thrift Shop” tops the 4 million mark in digital sales this week. It has sold more than 3 million copies since the beginning of the year. This marks the first time in the digital era that a song has sold 3 million copies this early in a calendar year. The previous record was set last year when “We Are Young” topped 3 million in the week ending April 8.

“Thrift Shop” was also the first song to sell 1 million copies in 2013 and the first to sell 2 million copies.

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Given all these facts, you might expect that “Thrift Shop” is also #1 on the Hot 100, but that distinction goes, for the third week in row, to Baauer’s viral phenomenon “Harlem Shake.” “Harlem Shake” is the first song to capitalize on Billboard’s decision to add You Tube streaming data to the Hot 100 formula. If this policy had been in place two years ago, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” might have had a shot at #1 (it peaked at #58 in April 2011). And if it had been in place last summer, PSY’s “Gangnam Style” would undoubtedly have hit #1 (it spent seven weeks at #2).

Even so, it seems to me that the You Tube element is being given too much weight. “Thrift Shop” has been #1 on Hot Digital Songs for eight straight weeks. “Harlem Shake” spent one week (last week) at #2 on that chart. (It has sold 816K copies to date.) “Thrift Shop” is #2 on the all-format Radio Songs chart for the second week (just behind Taylor Swift’s mass-appeal smash “I Knew You Were Trouble.”) “Harlem Shake” doesn’t yet appear on the 75-position Radio Songs chart.

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And yet “Harlem Shake” comes out on top on the Hot 100. In fact, Billboard’s Gary Trust reports that it wasn’t even close. “Harlem Shake” has more than twice as many total Hot 100 points this week as “Thrift Shop.”

So, how did “Harlem Shake” do it? It’s #1 on the Streaming Songs chart with 54 million streams. That’s down 45% from last week’s total of 98 million streams, but still far ahead of the #2-ranked “Thrift Shop,” which had 9.7 million streams this week.

I think it was a good idea to include You Tube streaming data in the Hot 100, but it’s hard to (Harlem) shake the sense that it’s being over-weighted. I’m sure Billboard will review the chart formula and make adjustments as needed. They’ve been fine-tuning Hot 100 methodology virtually since the week the chart was introduced in August 1958.

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As noted, “Thrift Shop” is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the eighth week. It’s the first song to spend eight weeks on top since Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” scored from May to July of last year. (If “Thrift Shop” has one more week on top, it will have the longest run at #1 since the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” was #1 for 10 weeks in 2009.)

“Thrift Shop” is also #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the eighth week. That’s the longest run in the top spot for a song by a white artist since Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U” spent 11 weeks on top in 2007.

“Harlem Shake” is #1 on Dance/Electronic Songs for the third week.

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Digital History Refresher I: The first song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales was “Low” by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, which did it in the week after Christmas 2007. The first song top 300K twice was “Live Your Life” by T.I. featuring Rihanna. The first to hit that threshold three times (and also four times) was Flo Rida’s “Right Round.” The first to do it five times was “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. The first to do it six times (and also seven times) was “We Are Young.” The first to do it eight times is “Thrift Shop.” Will “Thrift Shop” also become the first to do it nine times? Place your bets.

Digital History II Refresher II: Here are the first songs to sell 3 million copies in each calendar year from 2008 through 2011 (and the week they topped the 3 million mark in calendar-year sales). 2011: “E.T.” by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West (May 8); 2010: Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” (May 30); 2009: Flo Rida’s “Right Round” (April 26); 2008: Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” (Aug. 17).

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Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” holds at #4 for the second week. This is its 13th week in the top 10, which makes it one of Swift’s four longest-running top 10 hits to date. It ties “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and 2009’s “Love Story.” Only one Swift song, “You Belong With Me,” has had a longer run in the top 10 (16 weeks in 2009).

“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z holds at #8 for the second week. The song tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.

“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin returns to the top 10 after spending a couple of weeks just outside the top 10 (at #11 and then #12). The song has sold 1,990,000 copies. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording.

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.

The Top Five: Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” holds at #1 in its third week on the chart. Digital sales rank: #3 (228K)…“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz holds at #2 for the third week in its 22nd week on the chart. This is its 11th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (326K)… Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” holds at #3 for the second week in its 11th week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (231K)… Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” holds at #4 for the second week in its 20th week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #2. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (121K)…“Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko rebounds from #7 to #5 in its fourth week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #3. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (211K).

The Second Five: Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” holds at #6 for the second week in its fourth week on the chart. This is its third week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (142K)…“Scream & Shout” by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears drops from #5 to #7 its 14th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (122K)…“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z holds at #8 for the second week in its eighth week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #4. This is its fifth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (141K)… Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” holds at #9 for the second week in its 22nd week on the chart. The song spent six weeks at #1. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #16 (83K)…“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin rebounds from #12 to #10 in its in its 24th week on the chart. The song has climbed as high as #6. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #18 (79K).

“Love Me” by Lil Wayne featuring Drake and Future dips from #10 to #11.

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Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” is the week’s top new entry at #12. It’s vying to become Lovato’s third top 10 hit. “This Is Me,” a collabo with Joe Jonas from Camp Rock, hit #9 in July 2008. “Skyscraper” reached #10 in July 2011. Digital sales rank: #4 (215K). That’s the second-biggest sales tally so far this year for a song in its first week of release. It trails “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z which sold 315K in its first week in January. (In third place: Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” which sold 163K in its first week in February.) This is the third different song titled “Heart Attack” to make the top 40. Trey Songz’s “Heart Attack” reached #35 in September. Olivia Newton-John’s “Heart Attack” hit #3 in November 1982.

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“Feel This Moment” by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera jumps from #28 to #18 in its sixth week…“Poetic Justice” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Drake jumps from #34 to #26 in its 19th week…Of Monsters And Men’s “Little Talks” drops from #26 to #28 in its 41st week. The song tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week…Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did” jumps from #32 to #29 in its eighth week. The song is #1 on Hot Country Songs for the second week.

AWOLNATION’s “Sail” jumps from #49 to #30 in its 26th week…Adele’s “Skyfall” vaults from #61 to #33 in its 20th week in the wake of winning the Oscar for Best Song. The song has already climbed as high as #8. Digital sales rank: #10 (105K).

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“Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink featuring Nate Ruess leaps from #72 to #47 in its third week…Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” jumps from #60 to #51 in its sixth week….Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On” jumps from #64 to #56 in its sixth week…“Bad” by Wale featuring Tiara Thomas jumps from #70 to #61 in its third week… “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis leaps from #92 to #65 in its fourth week.

Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” jumps from #87 to #69 in its fourth week…Krewella’s “Alive” jumps from #79 to #72 in its third week. Krewella’s first full-length album is due this summer.

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Emeli Sande’s “Next To Me” jumps from #89 to #73 in its second week. The song reached #2 on The Official U.K. chart…“Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel jumps from #91 to #80 in its third week… “We Still In This B****” by B.o.B featuring T.I. & Juicy J jumps from #97 to #82 in its third week. (Can we sink any lower in terms of the coarseness of a title on the Hot 100? It’s hard to see how, though I’m sure we will.)

Chris Young’s “I Can Take It From There” jumps from #96 to #83 in its fourth week…Eric Church’s “Like Jesus Does” jumps from #99 to #86 in its second week…Britt Nicole’s “Gold” is the week’s second highest new entry at #90. This is the title track from Nicole’s third studio album, which was released a year ago…Rascal Flatts’ “Changed” re-enters the chart at #93. The song has already climbed to #73.

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Michael Buble’s “It’s A Beautiful Day” debuts at #94. The song is from To Be Loved, which is due April 23. It’s Buble’s sixth major-label studio album. His last three (Call Me Irresponsible, Crazy Love and Christmas) have reached #1. Buble’s last non-holiday album, Crazy Love, spawned his first top 40 single, “Haven’t Met You Yet.” The song reached #24 on the Hot 100 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” drops from #76 to #97 in its third week. The song is faring better in the U.K., where it jumps from #4 to #1 on The Official U.K. chart. It’s Timberlake’s fourth #1 in The U.K., following “SexyBack” (featuring Timbaland), Timbaland’s “Give It To Me,” on which he was featured, and Madonna’s “4 Minutes,” on which he was featured.

Brantley Gilbert’s “More Than Miles” debuts at #98. The song is from Gilbert’s gold album Halfway To Heaven, which was released three years ago this month…Hadouken!’s “Levitate” debuts at #99. The song is from the group’s third studio album Every Weekend, which is due March 18.

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“Payphone” by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa tops the 5 million mark in digital sales this week. It’s Maroon 5’s second song to reach this plateau. “Moves Like Jagger” (featuring Christina Aguilera) is up to 5,975,000.

“Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia tops the 3 million mark this week. It’s Guetta’s third song to reach this plateau, following “Sexy Chick” (featuring Akon, 3,424,000) and Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me” (on which he was featured, 3,025,000).

“Pursuit Of Happiness” by Kid Cudi featuring MGMT & Ratatat tops the 2 million mark. It’s Kid Cudi’s second 2 million-seller. “Day ’N’ Nite” is up to 2,871,000.

Gary Allan’s former #1 country hit “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” tops the 1 million mark this week. (The lyric idea is exact opposite of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” a #1 pop hit in 1988.)

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